News Release

Share This Page

NLN Awards and Academy of Nursing Education Ceremonies Crown NLN Conference

NLN Awards and Academy of Nursing Education Ceremonies Crown NLN Conference

NLN to Present Awards for Outstanding Leadership and Lifetime
Achievement, 24 Fellows to be Inducted into Nursing Education Academy


New York, NY – August 29, 2008 – The NLN Awards and Academy of Nursing Education Fellows Induction Ceremony is an annual highlight of the National League for Nursing Education Summit, and this years program promises to be no exception. Set for the evening of Saturday, September 20, it will cap the four-day gathering of nurse educators and administrators at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX.

NLN Awards
Outstanding Leadership to the NLN to Kathryn Mershon, MSN, RN, CNAA, FAAN
This award recognizes an NLN member for creative leadership in achieving an environment where shared governance can flourish; service as a role model for future organizational leaders; placing the mission of the NLN above personal need for recognition and reward; and inspiring others to become actively engaged in accomplishing the NLNs mission.

Throughout the years, Kathy Mershon evidenced outstanding leadership, service, and commitment to the mission of the NLN. As the chair of the NLN Board Development Committee, she worked on developing policies and procedures to assure continuity in board membership. As the chair of the NLN Nominating Committee, she introduced improved matrixes to assure that all leadership criteria are assessed appropriately.

It is in her role as leader of the NLN Foundation that Mershons contributions to the NLN and the nursing community have been most distinguished. Throughout her tenure as chairperson of the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, Kathys wise guidance has resulted in continued growth and significant enhancements to the mission and organizational operations of the NLN Foundation.

Outstanding Leadership in Nursing Education to Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, CNM, FAAN, FACNM
This award recognizes an NLN member who is…known for shaping and influencing leadership in nursing education with individuals, students, faculty, and patients; demonstrates leadership through scholarly activities…merits national or international acceptance for encouraging creative interactions with students from diverse backgrounds; and serves as a role model and mentor for junior faculty.

Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Dr. Conway-Welch has developed innovative programs fostering new ways of advancing nursing education and garnered prestigious appointments, including service on the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Dr. Conway-Welch helped create a partnership between Vanderbilt and Botswana Universities Schools of Nursing for a hospital project in Botswana. She has worked to increase funding for nursing students from diverse backgrounds and began a bridge program at Vanderbilt to facilitate entry into the MSN program for graduates of associate degree nursing programs and those with bachelors degrees in other fields.

Dr. Conway-Welch was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1997, when it was still rare for nurses to be selected; named to the Advisory Committee to the director of the National Institutes of Health; and represented the nursing community on numerous national advisory committees on disaster preparedness.

NLN Isabel Hampton Robb Award - Lifetime Achievement to May Wykle, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA
Isabel Hampton Rob chaired the historic meeting during the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893 that led to the establishment of the first association of nurses in the United States - the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools of Nurses. The group, which set out to improve and standardize nursing education, ultimately became the National League for Nursing Education in 1912, renamed the National League for Nursing in 1952. The award recognizes a lifetime of visionary work that transforms nursing education and the profession of nursing.

A renowned expert in gerontology, since 2001, Dr. May Wykle has been dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. For more than two decades, she has also been director of the University Center on Aging and Health University and has overseen one of the nations first certificate courses in gerontology. Through this position, she has mentored young faculty to follow in her footsteps as leaders in gerontology.

Dr. Wykle has led the way in hiring minority faculty and promoting research of minority populations. The critical mass of minority faculty at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing has been a major factor in increasing the number of minority students at the school, from the bachelor to doctoral level, thus producing a substantial number of next generation practicing nurses, educators, and researchers who are members of minority groups equipped to address minority health care and issues of health disparities. Her untiring efforts demonstrate that private schools of nursing, such as Case Western Reserve, can achieve racial, ethnic and gender diversity.

Traveling abroad extensively, she witnessed the interconnection of poverty and health in developing countries, which led her to initiate nursing education programs with components in gerontology in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In 2007, Case Western established the May L. Wykle Endowed Professorship in honor of her outstanding career and remarkable contributions to knowledge development, leadership, and mentorship. Remarkably, the professorship was funded through contributions by former students, practicing nurses, colleagues in the fields of mental health and gerontology, and members of the communities she has served throughout her distinguished career.

NLN Academy of Nursing Education
The evenings program will also include the presentation and induction of 24 fellows into the Academy of Nursing Education. The academy was established by the NLN in 2007 to foster excellence in nursing education through the recognition of outstanding nurse educators. Fellows play a critical role in fostering excellence in nursing education by supporting the vision and mission of the NLN. They help promote standards of excellence to increase the number of graduates from all types of nursing programs, and they serve as resources for new educators, as well as colleagues in clinical practice. These inspiring leaders will be lauded for innovative teaching and learning strategies, nursing education research, faculty development, academic leadership, promotion of public policy that advances nursing education and collaborative educational practice with community partners.

Editors and reporters: For more information about the Academy of Nursing fellows and the NLN awardees, for advance interview opportunities, or if you would like to attend the Fellows Induction and Awards Banquet, please contact NLN chief communications officer Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376,

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its
27,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.